Sunday, November 30, 2014

Broken but Not Beaten

This blog has been an outlet for my fears about my son's Tourette's.  It has been an outlet when I went through my divorce back in 2007.  It helped me navigate the severe depression after the divorce.  I have made some amazing blogger chicks from Canada to New Zealand.  So I feel it only fitting to share my current broken state.  And that of TheBoy and LilBro, too.

A month after the wedding of the decade, I discovered that things were not as wonderful as they seemed.  I convinced myself I was paranoid from my previous experience in 2007.  I can't bring myself to go into details here.  But the reconciliation, dating, and wedding were all done within huge lies.  A fun little kicker is I found this out after finally trusting my gut and digging - all the while feeling like I was being a bad wife by digging.  Four days after having legally changed my last name.  Good times.

So, while I am still technically married in the eyes of the state in which I live, my "husband" lives with friends.  TheMan, TheBoy, LilBro and I are all in therapy.  I am watching TheBoy spiral dangerously in depression.  He and I have gotten help both emotionally and medicinally.  But at his age (14) you heap all the normal confusion of being teen with a major family trauma and potential RE-divorce of his's bad.  His anxiety attacks that had been gone for years have undone him enough to miss a lot of school.  LilBro's anxiety manifests in a much less obvious way.  His teacher informed me that it's off the charts in the form of obsessing over time and schedules.  But he's keeping his grades up and is pretty happy over all.  He's 10.  He's still hoping dad will come back home.

Here is one reason I'm sharing this even though I haven't shared this with all friends and family yet.  If you for one second think that God had a hand in this horror show, stop right now.  If you feel any anger toward God for "letting this happen" to me?  Don't.

There has not been ONE SECOND where I've thought God did this or wondered why he let this happen to me.  I will tell you what I've told other friends and family members.

First and foremost - no matter what hell on earth may happen?  GOD IS ON HIS THRONE.  Don't think for one second that some disaster or evil proves otherwise.

Second - God had no hand in the lies and betrayal perpetrated by TheMan and another "friend" of ours.  That was all the enemy.  The prince of stupidity.  Satan, the devil whatever you want to name him.  He saw the bright beacon our family was for God and he threw something irresistible in front of the weakest member.  Not my kids.  No, he went for the new believer: TheMan.  It's what he does when he's scared that something is about to Shine for God.  He knew TheMan still had major broken wounds and he played to those.

Third - God will always lay out amazingly perfect plans for each of us.  And then each of us uses the free will God gave us to walk the path he laid for us, to walk kind of NEXT to it, to walk away from it, or to reject it altogether.  That is US, man.  We all do it.  I did it for years.  I walked close enough to God's path to fool myself that I was ok because, hey, I could still SEE it!  Granted, I had to look to the side to see it.  But still!  I could see it.  No, God always plans goodness for each of us.  And some of us don't trust it because, you know, God can't be THAT nice, right?  And some of us are broken and scarred from previous attempts by the enemy to destroy us and keep us walled off from God.  So we can't see the path.  Or we don't want to see it because some church or "Christian" or "God person" totally screwed us over way back when.  Or because something horrible was done to us that we can't even speak about.  I get it.  But it's still usually my free will.

So TheMan was given a beautiful path of redemption, forgiveness, grace, and trust.  By hundreds of people.  My whole family welcomed him back.  Some had to work harder at it than others.  But we welcomed him back.  Our church is a church full of imperfect broken people that never throws stones.  They loved our story of screwing up a marriage and fixing it.  And many of them came to what I now know was really just a theatrical sham of a "wedding."

TheMan was given an amazing gift from many people.  But the enemy kept reminding him of his previous failure.  Made sure he couldn't fully shake the shame and guilt from his actions in 2007-2010.  So his actions were all tainted by shame.  And anything you build in reaction to shame and guilt - no matter how much you want it to be true - it will come crashing down around you.  And it will DESTROY anyone close to you.

The fourth thing I will say to anyone who thinks that TheMan is hellbound: don't even go there.  TheMan is straight with God.  This I know.  His turn toward and acceptance of God/Jesus was and is real.  I know he talks to God all the time.  And I know he has talked to God about how wrong he was this time.  And last time.  So I know he's good with The Father.  This is EXACTLY what Jesus did on the cross, man.  This is why he died.  For all of us stupid selfish people that can't hold to a vow or remember a promise or think about anyone except our own wants.  For some reason, Jesus thought we were WORTH that.  And while we humans assign levels of evil to each wrong we do here on earth?  That's a human thing.  That's not a God thing.  If you have to turn away from God to do something, you've had to turn away from God to do that thing.  It all hurts God the same.  Whether you think that or not.  Doing wrong is doing something you BELIEVE is wrong.  So if you think disrespecting your husband in public is wrong and you still do it?  You're missing the mark just as bad as TheMan lying to and betraying me and his boys.  So if you're ok with being friends with abusive drunks and compulsive liars but you're not ok hanging out with TheMan because of what he did?  You're doing it wrong.

Don't get me wrong.  I am PISSED.  This is the SECOND time for me.  Having to use terms like "The first time this happened..." or "THIS time..." constantly undoes me and boils my BUTT.  Knowing that I have to find forgiveness for him?  That's hard, too.  Yah, I know the right thing to do.  But man, to have to do that AGAIN?  Now I get that passage where Jesus tells the disciples they have to not just forgive someone seven times but SEVENTY times seven times.  And I've done the math.  I'm struggling with the SECOND time.  So I doubt I'll pass the test all the way up to 490 times.  It's not fair that my boys and I got destroyed a second time.  It's not fair that I walked through a fake wedding - not knowing - smiling and feeling so elated at the culmination of God's miracle!

But I will get over the anger.  Just not right now.  And I will forgive him.  That part has already started.  But the clever prince of poo loves to just pop images of what he did into my head every time I start feeling kind and forgiving.  So yah.  I have a lot of work to do with God.  He has a HUGE miracle to pull off by putting REAL forgiveness in my heart.  And man, TheBoy?  He wants NOTHING to do with his father right now.  And LilBro feels torn and guilty because he wants to see and be with his dad but sees how angry TheBoy is.

I share this not to say "Hey look at how God's miracle was a lie!"  I share this to say God really did orchestrate reconciliation and forgiveness.  And TheMan turned it into a lie.  Not God.  But Jesus took care of this all on the cross.  TheMan just has to deal with us imperfect and enraged humans for a while.  I'm not excusing my anger and rage.  But I'm also not making myself feel bad for it.

So if you're a praying person, cover me and the boys.  If you're awesome enough, cover TheMan.  He has a hell of a mountain of therapy to conquer.  And believe it or not, I want this to end with us still married and actually HEALED and loving.  I am very painfully aware that ending may not be a reality.  I can cope with that.  It is undoing my boys, however.

I will say that TheBoy has shown no tics.  The anxiety attacks suck.  They derail him and make him feel despondent.  Watching him go from bright shining kid to this sad depressed kills me.  And really adds to my anger.

God can pull us all through this.  It's walking through the fire that sucks.  Even knowing God will get me through it.  The mire is awful at the moment.

Pissed and Praying,
Tourette's Mom

Monday, August 18, 2014

Waiting Well: Wedding of the Decade

This past Saturday, August 16th, 2014, found me an the now former TheEx remarry.  A friend posted a then-and-now picture of our 1996 wedding kiss with the 2014 kiss.
Obviously I need a new moniker for TheEx. Without getting overly fancy, I'm going with TheMan until I think of something better.

I think our wedding is not only representative of the miracle of reconciliation but also of the support system God set up around me.  Let me show you how:

My wonderful mom went with me to the church to figure out the placement of tables and chairs.  It's not a regular shaped venue.  I just couldn't picture the placement of the 18-20 rectangular tables in the space.  She had a vision and was able to show me.  It worked perfectly.

TheEngineer (hubby to the fabulous C.Beth/C.BethCrochet) showed up and helped set up all of the ginormous tables for me and mom.  On his day off.  He rocks.

The lovely Trish and Gwen flew in to represent my Boston church small group from back in 2005. They stayed with my fabulous mom because I knew the three would instantly bond.  Which they did.  Gwen is also a tiny tornado of assistance.  If you've even thought you might need something done, she somehow senses it and is instantly doing!  They helped mom and me set up and decorate the tables for the wedding. They also came into the bride dressing room and prayed over me.

The fabulous ladies from my small group worked with our friend Calli Cupcake to make and ice 200 cupcakes in three amazing flavors.

A last minute discovery at the church was that my skirt (which had to be hiked up under my armpits because it's made for some statuesque Amazonian) now had front slits up to a very not ok region.  So when I walked, way more was going to show than anyone wanted!  Mom retrieved needle and thread from her car and went to work.  At the same time, my friend Heather ran to the local Walmart to grab some white leggins - just in case! So modesty was restored and I could show off my fancy wedding shoes without making anyone blush!

Our wedding plans were all about simplicity. And not spending money on stuff we would just throw away after the wedding.  I didn't want flowers for that reason.  My cupcake brigade ladies weren't ok with that and all chipped in to get me the most gorgeous bouquet and a boutonniere for TheMan.  They surprised me back in the bridal room! What sweet love from my friends.

The ceremony was performed by our pastor and friend Shayne.  He's been part of our story since we joined this church.  So it was special to have him seal the deal!

Our wonderful boys, TheBoy and LilBro walked me down the aisle to their dad.

They had worked out a little skit when Shayne asked them who gave this woman to be married to this man.  They conferred behind me as to the worthiness of their dad for this honor.  They said things like:
    LilBro: "I don't know...he smells kind of funny!"
    TheBoy:  "Yah, he smells like onions and disappointment!"
   LilBro: "I think Liam Neeson would be a better choice..."
The finished by coming forward and TheBoy saying, "I'm sorry to say but we can't..." TheMan interrupted them by stepping forward, pulling a $50 bill from his pocket and asking if that could change their minds.  TheBoy quickly snatched the money and said "Yes!  Yes it does!"  We were all dying!

The afore mentioned TheEngineer stood up with TheMan.  My BigSis stood with me.  The boys flanked us.  At one point, Shayne invited our friends to step up and say something about our relationship.  TheEngineer started.  His vulnerable statements and clear emotion had us all choked up.  He spoke of how something had always made him stand up for and love TheMan - even during the very rough years.  His love of TheMan and never wavering friendship is something I will never forget.  I suspect it is a major reason why TheMan really believed in God's love - seeing it lived out in this friendship.
Then his wife C.Beth was next.  She spoke of our friendship.  She got me when she said the reason so many people love and support me is because I love and support so many people.  I have to remember that because I tend to only thing of my snarky side.

Our worship leader and friend Adam (one half of the supremely talented Stone & Crow) handled the video (soft lights flickering on the 3 video screens), playing our wedding playlist, and cuing up the entrance and exit songs.  It's so generous when a friend who is invited to the wedding volunteers to also work that wedding.  He gave us one more thing to not worry about.

During the ceremony, during the 100+ degree heat, the caterer arrived.  Our friend BBQDave left the fun to go help him lug in the food and drinks.  It was not fun or glamorous work but he volunteered and handled it all.  I love him! When we queued up for the receiving line in front of the catered dinner line, a friend informed us that the caterer had forgotten plates and cups.  Three church friends, PJ, Derek and Kaydean, jumped behind the cafe.  PJ immediately grabbed plates and coffee cups and the three of them got the food line going!  Again - I had dropped the ball on the little detail of getting volunteers to serve.  And my friends just jumped in.  I love them so much!  PJ also later announced to everyone that there was plenty of food and everyone who wanted could have seconds.  Or thirds!!!  A bunch of us took a lot of food home. Yum!
My sweet brother-in-law, TallGuy, had to run to Walmart to grab ice.  Another forgotten detail by either me or the caterer.  I don't really know or care.  But he ran and did it.  Goodness!!

So, only due to the quick thinking and willingness of my family and friends to jump in, we became Mr. and Mrs TheMan.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Marriage License: Milestone in a Whacked Up Love Story

So yesterday, we went to the county clerk and applied for our marriage license.  The kids came with us.  Pretty amazing.  We posted this picture on my Facebook page and it had almost 200 likes by the end of the day.  I think it's safe to say we have quite a few people who are fans of our reconciliation.
Here's a selfie we shot at the 8 hour marriage course we took a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great class for any level of relationship.  And it got us $60 off the price of our marriage license. know...there's THAT...
God rocks, man.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Engaged: Milestone in a Whacked Up Love Story

Yesterday, The Once and Future Husband proposed! That's his grandmother's ring I have worn since she gave it to us when we first got engaged in 1996.  I had taken it off recently to die my hair (badly).  I told him where it was and told him to put it on the correct hand when he was ready.  I said it rather angrily.  Yesterday, he put it on my left hand as I left the laundry room (all gross and sweaty).  Then he asked if I would marry him! So yah.  Yesterday pretty much rocked.
This was how I announced it on Facebook
This was a (completely posed) reaction face from BigBro and LilBro as we celebrated with a nice dinner:
This is my current Facebook profile picture.  It's a selfie we took last month at a hockey game:
'Cause I'm classy like that
So.  Yah.